Leonid Bachynsky, born 28 February 1896 in Katerynoslav (later Dnipropetrovsk and now Dnipro), was a teacher, community activist and journalist. He studied the natural sciences at Kyiv University, before joining the ranks of the Ukrainian National Republic’s army (1918-1920). During the revolutionary years, he gave many lectures to the soldiers in UNR army camps, before moving along with other UNR leaders to Tarnów in 1920. Moving briefly to Przemyśl in 1921, he was assigned the directorship of a gymnasium in the village of Luka near Sambir, where he taught until the school was dissolved in 1923 by the Polish authorities. Bachynsky then moved to the Transcarpathian city of Uzhgorod, where he taught and also became involved in the organization of Plast (Ukrainian Scouts) until 1929, when the Czechoslovak government forced him to leave, reportedly because of his work with Plast and also his use of the term Carpatho-Ukraine in articles and speeches. He moved back to Przemyśl where he continued teaching, writing and organizing Ukrainian youth until the outbreak of war in 1939, when he moved to Jarosław and became director of a trade school. In 1944, along with many others, Bachynsky fled westward, landing in a deported persons camp near Heidenau, where he resumed his pedagogical work and youth outreach, prior to moving to the United States in 1950. He authored and compiled more than 45 works, many of them on farming and biology.
In 1952, he founded the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, Ohio, which he directed until 1977. Once in the US, Leonid worked as a machinist, but his real passion was collecting. His brother Evhen regularly sent him materials to Cleveland from Geneva from the 1950s to the 1970s, including the personal papers of diplomats, documentation of the Ukrainian Red Cross, and other items. Most of those were transferred to Carleton University in 1982, though the imprint of the Bachynsky brothers is still very much visible in the UMA’s holdings.
- Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, United States of America
- Dnipro, Ukraine 49000
- Heidenau, Germany
- Kyiv City, Kiev, Ukraine 02000
- Przemyśl, Poland
- Tarnow, Poland 33-100
- Budapest, Hungary
István Bakos (1943), a Hungarian scholar of culture, was an opposition activist. He graduated from the agricultural technical college in Szentlőrinc. Beginning in 1963, he worked as an agronomist in the New Life Collective Farm in Peterd. Between 1964 and 1969, he studied Hungarian language and literature and cultural program organization at Loránd Eötvös University, and he organized student life at the József Eötvös College. He finished his studies in 1969. For one year he was the student president at the University’s Arts Faculty. Between 1970 and 1973, he worked at the Academic Management Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, before taking a position at the National Council of Collective Farms. From 1975 to 1978, he worked at the Commission of Academic Policy of the Hungarian Government. Between 1979 and 1994, he worked at the Ministry of Culture. As a member of the national opposition, he was one of the initiators of the Gábor Bethlen Foundation (1980), whose aim was to protect national minority rights and advance minority cultural life. He contributed to the organization of the Lakitelek Meeting, a major event of the nationalist-populist opposition in 1987, and the creation of the political party the Hungarian Democratic Forum. From 1994 until 1999, he served as the elected secretary-general of the World Federation of Hungarians (WFH), and until 2004 he was the head of department at the National Schoolbook Publisher. Between 1999 and 2007, he served as the president of the Gábor Bethlen Foundation.
- Budapest, Hungary
Poet, performer, musician, visual artist. Studied in a music primary school in Budapest and then worked in an animation studio in East Berlin. Later, attended an evening high school in his hometown. At the end of 1968, he joined the freshly formed, later legendary Kex (Cookies), where he was the singer and frontman. The band became very popular among young intellectuals. They played frequently in clubs, but could record only one single during their active years. The secret police started to keep him under surveillance.
Due to the conflicts related to the investigation, he emigrated to West Germany in October 1971. He studied at the graphic department of the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen (two semesters). Later, he attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied in the painting and graphic art department (twelve semesters).
In 1975, he published a picture-book (Olimpi, et cetera Literarischer Verlag). In 1977, he completed the pastel series Der Weg der Materie, depicting “the karma of the universe” on forty-five plates. He started to build sculptures and jewellery out of ceramics, and he created a series of silk paintings. He also became involved in the creation of musical landscapes.
In 1978, he moved to West Berlin, where he lived and worked for decades. He founded a Native American and a samurai school, and since then worked under the pseudonym Prince January as an artist-parson. In the beginning of the 1980s and in the late 1990s, he took research trips to North America. Over the course of the decades, he created numerous paintings, drawings, and sculptures, and he staged slide series and an array of diary-like poetic writings and musical pieces, meant to be shown interconnected.
In addition to his exhibitions in Düsseldorf and Berlin, upon invitation he presented his works in Budapest at the Dorottya Gallery (1996), the Éri Gallery (2001) and in Székesfehérvár at the King St. Stephan Museum (2007), accompanied by a catalogue. A book on his work was published in Hollywood entitled Terra Forming (Klasky Csupo Publishing, 2000), in which, with images, text-meditations and the accompanying music, he informs his reader that it is worthwhile to interpret the world around us in a wider, cosmic context.In 2012, he became seriously ill, and he is now in a rehabilitation institute.
- Stuttgart, Uhingen, Germany